Shifting Marines, Shifting Air?

A report by Thom Shanker of The New York Times indicates that the Marine Corps has proposed shifting marines to Afghanistan and leaving Iraq to the Army. Some officials of both services believe this would reduce the strain on their troops by enabling them to “operate more efficiently” in making troop rotations. However, Shanker suggests that the Air Force might not like the idea because USAF’s combat aircraft role in Afghanistan “could be squeezed” since Marine Corps air would supplant it. There would be some shift certainly without the need for USAF to support US Army ground forces, but there would be a need to continue supporting international and Afghan ground forces. As we reported yesterday, the Afghan Air Corps is struggling.